There are three ways to tackle the
issues that repress India. One is to shut our eyes to
corruption, venal politicians, anti-entrepreneur bureaucrats,
and a mindset against meritocracy. The second is to become
part of the system, merge with an interest group, and
feel guiltless about street children, rat-eaters, riot-victims,
men and women who cannot spell their name, or vote-robbing
that masquerades as democracy.
The third way is to battle the repressors - using truth
and moral values as weapons, allied with unbeatable information
power, argumentation and analysis. Five years ago, we
launched Indiareacts.com - now renamed Newsinsight.net
- to influence public opinion, political leaders and corporate
heads to nudge India towards the goals set by the Founding
Fathers. We count among our readers such eminences as
prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia
Gandhi, the rest of the UPA leadership, the former PM,
A.B.Vajpayee, stalwarts of the NDA opposition, industrialists
Rattan Tata and Ramesh Chauhan, apart from the Indian
and NRI intelligentsia, the Indian middle and business
classes, foreign governments, think-tanks, and educational
We have achieved some success, yes - but the task remains
huge. Under popular demand, we intend to carry forward
our mission in print - with a weekly newspaper, that will
aim at the same high ideals of our Internet endeavour.
The Indian media is feisty - without being necessarily
free or uniformly or consistently alive to public concerns.
There is a felt need for a publication that informs, educates
and crucially debates public-policy issues and provides
leads to the myriad issues confronting government leaders
in their daily tasks of governance.
Nonaligned, unconnected to any interest group, and subscribing
to the only ideology of Indiafirst, we invite non-resident
Indians - perhaps the last section of Indians left with
the energy, drive, motivation and idealism to retrieve
India - to generously participate in our venture. There
is much that has gone wrong with the country - but it
is nothing that dedicated Indian minds cannot overcome.
Hate it for what it has become, but India is the only
country we have.
Let us save it.
Five years ago...
Most thinkers of the Internet give
it extraordinary powers to atomize society. If you believe
them, the net will make ‘Is’ of many of us sooner than
we know. This belief has crippled news executives who
are unable to decide if news ought to be packaged for
an individual or for a community.
The dilemma of news executives has been pronounced by
the Internet, perhaps, but not caused by it. The cause
lies in the increased - and now, terminal - commoditification
of news. It is as if news is a machine-generated product
like a motorcar. A trend for smaller cars is matched by
a pressure to write shorter stories without details. The
reader is informed but untouched. A mini car comes along
towing a bikini story. Buy and discard. Read and rubbish.
The race is on to miniaturize. The rattrap is sprung.
Should we make a family car or a small car? Should we
custom news for an individual or a family or a community?
The executives fall into their own pits.
Hell, news is much more than that. Hemingway, the writer,
was once asked why he wrote. He said that he wrote to
do good. Hemingway was a newsman before he became a writer.
He was a newsman even after he was a writer. The power
to do good never left his writings. The power to do good
is what journalism is about.
Good journalism cares about people. News are not events
to be headlined and forgotten. We at Newsinsight.net care
as much for the people of the news as for the news. And
we don’t stop at news. We encourage meaningful interactions
on all aspects of public affairs with the sole purpose
of extracting solutions that are - and seen to be - in
public interest. Indians here, and in foreign lands, comprise
a vast reservoir of one of the world’s finest talents,
and it is our express aim to weld them into a family that
puts India and its wellbeing above all else.
In our view, it is not there to choose between individuals
and communities. What is good for all will likely be good
for one. Individuals are important. Equally, a CEO or
a prime minister are not self-contained packages that
may survive in isolation, omnipotent and omnipresent as
One for all and all for one...that is us.